From There to Here…

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Today I’m going to cover, well…today!

Baby and I live in a small apartment, in a big city, in Germany.

I’ve lived in Europe twice now–I finished high school here, and then went home to go to university, and am now back–and both times it was a seemingly impossibly daunting task, leaving home and living in a country whose language I don’t speak.

This time I’ve been here over two years, and I can’t imagine leaving Europe.

It’s hard to imagine even leaving Germany.
There are so many great things about this country especially for the pet parent.

Germany has very strict rules (for every walk of life) not excluding keeping animals. There are restrictions as to the size of cage needed for small animals to ensure that they have enough space. If you adopt a small creature that’s an omnivore in the wild, like a hedgehog, you are required to feed it meat as well as pellets or veggie matter. And dogs in most places must have liability insurance, are frequently extremely well trained, and can go almost anywhere with you.

That’s right.

Living with a dog in Germany is something like paradise.

If I need to go shopping downtown, I can bring Baby with me. If I need to take the bus, Baby can take it with me. If I want to go out to eat, Baby can go inside most restaurants with me–not just on the patio.

These people love their pets like nothing else, and I think it’s fabulous.

We’ve had our share of awkward moments–Baby is sometimes more friendly than the natives we run into are used to, and she’s not always the biggest fan of other dogs whilst on the leash–but as I’m sure you’ve experienced, in the pet blogging community if nothing else, dog people are often extremely understanding.

We’re all working together towards a common goal of changing pet parenting for the more responsible.

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So I spend my morning, noon, and nights with my pretty Baby girl, walking, hiking, and adventuring. During the day I teach art to school aged kiddoes at an after school program. And after all that I fall into bed at night to that cute brindle face snuffling quietly into my shoulder.

It can be hard work.

It’s exhausting.

But it’s all worth it, every moment.

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It’s Been a Long Road…

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I thought it might be nice, after kicking off the blog with our origin story, to spend the rest of the week looking at where we came from, and where we’re going.

Today I’m going to dredge up ancient history and tell you a little bit more about myself!

I was born and raised in Canada, not far from Toronto.

I very much enjoyed growing up there, in a household with a little West Highland White Terrier named Toe Jam. (The deal was my mum got to pick the breed if my da’ got to pick the name. You can tell the sort of silly family we were.)

Toe Jam was my best friend growing up. I remember crawling into her kennel to hang out with her on more than one occasion, and feeding her carrots and popcorn, which were her very favourites. (Mine, too!) We loved to lounge out in the grass in the summers, and play games with the hose. In the winter we built snow forts and played catch with snowballs.

She lived with us until I was fifteen, and then went to live with my grandmother and keep her company. A few short years later she passed away.

Toe Jam was the first, but not only dog I loved growing up.

My best friend in my youth had two Golden Retrievers, Sarge–who I didn’t know nearly long enough, and after his passing Mikey–a goofball who would run circles around the coffee table when riled up, pausing every turn for a quick scratch behind the ears.

I would go over to their house as much to see the dog as my friend (and their adorable lop-eared bunny, too!). Goldens are still one of my favourite breeds, big, beautiful, gentle darlings.

I will always smile when I see them.

How, then, did I end up with a brindle Boxer mutt?

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I’ll admit–I just couldn’t get over this face.

It does bother me though, on occasion, that I know so little about where Baby came from and what she’s been through.

She came from the rescue group having been abandoned in a yard, left out on a chain. One would think that meant that she’d lived with a family, or indoors, but the latter I’m certain wasn’t true.

Baby was trained for nothing when she came to me. Not house trained, no basic commands, she got hyper and over-stimulated at the slightest hint of something new, and cowered at sudden noises (especially loud or rustling ones). That being said, she’s made great strides, and while it points to her being extremely under-socialized with household life, she’s always been a great lover of people.

So is it good natured? Or has she had good people in her past, as well as poor?

I’ll never know for sure, and the truth is it doesn’t really matter.

Baby’s forever home is with me, and though sometimes in dark moments I can’t help but wonder if she might be better off with someone else–I know that she will spend the rest of her life being loved immeasurably, and provided for unfailingly.

And that’s more than enough for both of us.

And it Begins…

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I adopted Baby from a rescue in Hungary on July 24, 2014.

Her name then was Katie, and she was a dusty, lonely girl abandoned in the yard of a house whose people had moved away, leaving her there. She lived on a chain, and got food and water when people in town remembered or cared to look after her. The kind people at Foundation of Animal Protection in Füzesabony took her in, posted her pictures online, and the rest as they say, is history.

A slew of emails, a few viewings of Dirty Dancing, and a long van ride later, and she was my Baby.

Almost a year later, we live in Germany. We spend our time training, having adventures, and taking a bajillion pictures to document our time together. My intentions for the blog are to put some words to those pictures, and become an active part of the pet blogging community that has helped me so much in the past ten months with turning Baby from a hungry street dog into the goofy, rambunctious, cuddlebug that she is today.

I’m bringing up Baby.

The baby dog.